Foot Pain and foot drop from broken femur.

by Rod

Foot Pain and foot drop from broken femur.

Three weeks ago my wife broke her femur skiing. It was a compound fracture and protruded out her leg. Now she cannot yet raise her foot up. She has pain down from the middle of her shin to the top of her foot.

An x-ray of her ankle and foot shows no injuries. She experiences an intense burning sensation and a numbness on the top surface of her foot. The orthopedist gave her a script for Lyrica which makes her a little more comfortable but she is very miserable. What can we do to make her foot raise up and get rid of the pain?

Hello Rod,
It's not good news I'm afraid; either the initial injury (most likely) but also possibly the surgical plating has damaged the sciatic nerve that runs down the back of the thigh.

A branch called the deep fibular nerve supplies the anterior tibial muscle, and sensory to the skin. It's the muscle that raises the foot; it sounds like your wife has what's known as a foot drop. Didn't the surgeon explain it?

I think an immediate neurological consult is important.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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